Brown University News Bureau

Op-Eds distributed in the 2002-03 academic year

Timothy Chambers
Op-Ed: What academia means to me
Sometimes dropping a tiny piece of information into position allows the larger picture to snap into sharper focus. The hunt for that tiny piece of information and for the deeper understanding it makes possible is a major satisfaction of the academic life. 02-154 (distributed June 18, 2003)

Elliott Colla
Op-Ed: Occupational hazards
If in the coming months Americans begin to notice cutbacks in schools, libraries and public transportation, remember this: Our leaders decided to fund military occupation in Iraq rather than vital services here. And what’s worse: If we fail to provide services in Iraq – services that will be expensive – we should expect nothing but chaos and violence from the occupation. 02-153 (distributed June 18, 2003)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Wisdom from Phil: Bush is in trouble
A San Diego barber and one of the world’s most famous anthropologists both understand Americans’ unspoken rules for the use of force and their strong preference for straight talk and a square deal. While they might follow different lines of reasoning, the barber and anthropologist would end up at the same conclusion: Bush is in trouble. 02-152 (distributed June 12, 2003)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Meanwhile across the border, Iran’s war apprehension is growing
What effect might the American military action in Iraq have next door in Iran? Iranians may be overly cautious, but the signs are everywhere that Iran is seriously concerned about a U.S. military threat. 02-111 (distributed April 10, 2003)

Brent Stuart Goodwin
Op-Ed: The Shock and Awe approach: Target the means and will to fight
War is an unfortunate feature of this world. As long as there are wars, the humane thing to do is to seek to make them as quick and decisive as possible, which goes a long way toward preventing them in the first place. 02-099 (distributed March 25, 2003)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: ‘Coalition of the unwilling’ falters as allied leaders battle populace
In America, the president stays in office for four years unless impeached. In a parliamentary system, the prime minister can be removed anytime on a vote of no confidence. If the United States is in the middle of an attack on Baghdad when an ally suddenly changes leadership, the war effort will revert, by default, to the unilateral action Americans fear. 02-078 (distributed February 28, 2003)

James Morone
Op-Ed: History lessons about God and war
America’s past crusades offer three great lessons about God and arms. First, remember humility. Second, wartime anxieties spill over to domestic suspects. Finally, fighting for our ideals abroad can remind us to take them more seriously at home. 02-065 (distributed February 13, 2003)

Brent Stuart Goodwin
Op-Ed: Clipping the Barbershop controversy
Critics charge that the film Barbershop is disrespectful to civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Defenders say the film carries an important message about freedom of speech. In either case, news that one of the film’s stars will emcee the NAACP’s Image Awards show suggests that the controversy might be at an end. 02-060 (distributed January 31, 2003)

David C. Lesis, M.D.
Op-Ed: Should you drink for your health?
A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine reports on the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. However, that study does not mean alcohol is a health food for everyone. 02-059 (distributed January 30, 2003)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Who can stop White House warriors? Only the American public
With public opinion so crucial in shaping the actions of the Bush administration, it seems certain that Americans will get a war in Iraq unless they say emphatically that they don’t want it. The militants in the White House are champing at the bit. Only their fear of the voters holds them in check. 02-053 (distributed January 22, 2003)

James G. Blight and janet M. Lang
Op-Ed: 40 years later, George Bush hijacks the Cuban Missile Crisis
If the historical John F. Kennedy had done in October 1962 what the Bush administration says he did – asserting a doctrine of “preemptive defense” – the likely outcome would have been a nuclear holocaust. The historical evidence is now unambiguous. 02-027 (distributed October 21, 2002)

William O. Beeman
Op-Ed: Specialists on Iran-Iraq region see U.S. action in Iraq as a mistake
U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and its contemplated interventions in Iraq will demand a depth of non-military historical, social and political expertise that the United States currently does not have. The author reports from an international conference in Tajikistan. 02-021 (distributed September 23, 2002)

Ross Cheit
Op-Ed: False-conviction chic in the Berkshires
Robert Halsey was convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing two boys on his school van route in Lanesboro, Mass. There was a mountain of evidence against him, and he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms. Now a growing movement is trying to suggest that Halsey was unjustly convicted. A country that cherishes the presumption of innocence still needs to learn something about the presumption of guilt. 02-009 (distributed September 20, 2002)

Herschel I. Grossman
Op-Ed: For peace in the Middle East: A two-state solution?
Palestinian Arabs often take the colonial experiences of Algeria and South Africa as models for their conflict with Zionism: As Europeans ultimately lost power in both Algeria and South Africa, perhaps Jewish settlers will not prove to be permanent. But suppose that analogy is wrong. What if the situation is more like the example of Ireland, where a two-state solution has worked? 02-006 (distributed August 14, 2002)

Lara Harb
Op-Ed: Is education the next security risk in the Occupied Territories?
The Israeli military raid on Al-Quds University in Jerusalem is ironic in light of the recent claim by the Israeli military that Palestinian textbooks incite students against the Israeli government. That claim, repeatedly debunked by U.S. academics, misses the point. The occupation – not to mention the ongoing attack on primary schools and universities – provides a far more provocative education than anything a textbook could ever convey. 02-004 (distributed July 15, 2002)